Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

John 3:16 – Golf’s Passage

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

If you watch golf at all – you are well aware that at many golf tournaments – someone will probably have a sign behind the golfers (where the cameras catch it) that reads John 3:16. This passage hit home with me this week as I continue to watch the national and international scene unfold around us. I understand nationalism and I think I understand our need to protect our borders and our people from terrorists and other threats. I listen to the debates about building a wall – denying certain people entrance into the USA – and the need to keep track of certain people. It can be very confusing at times and very mind blowing.

As Christians who are from a certain nation – we are often caught dealing with our national interests and our Christian global interests. Christ died for the whole world (although all will not accept His free gift of salvation). Christ died for the people we are trying to keep out of our nation – even the criminal elements. It is a hard place at times. It is tough taking a stand because there are arguments on both sides of most discussions.

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July 10, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What if Everyone Worked the Harvest Fields?

Luke 10:2

He told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

In church life – there is a common statement that is very sad – but often true. It goes like this – 20% of the people do 80% of the work – in the church. At times this might be because the 20% has a hard time sharing or delegating the work load. At times it might be a control issue on the part of the 20%. But most often – it is because the 80% aren’t joining in the labors for Christ in the church. Are we part of the 20% or the 80%? If we are in one camp or the other – why?

Think about this for a moment. Are we only attending worship in our church and doing nothing or little else? Are we only taking what the church offers – youth ministry – children’s ministry – family ministry – worship – fellowship events – etc. – and not giving anything back? In essence are we takers without being givers as well?

There is another saying we might be familiar with – it goes like this – you get out of something what you put into it. I wonder what a church would look like if everyone associated with that church were to serve God in some capacity in the life of that church? What if everyone in the church considered themselves workers in the harvest fields Christ has for us? I mean – we can all help somewhere! Right? What would a church look like where all members worked the harvest fields?

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July 9, 2020 Posted by | Bring, Church, Community, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wage of Sin is Death

James 1:13-15

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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We have all heard or read the following passage many times I bet – Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death. We earn death when we sin. Our sin earns the wage of death. That smacks me hard – because I have been working since I was very young – cutting grass – officiating sports – working as a Soda Jerk (no puns) – etc. – earning a wage. Apparently – I have been working since before I can remember – to earn death – through my sin! I was born with a sin nature and that nature has been working overtime – and the wage for my sin – is death. To read it as James puts it – sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Today’s main passage is James 1:13-15 and ends with the following – then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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July 8, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Post From Before Coronavirus

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

This post was originally posted on January 28, 2020. It was pre-coronavirus. It was before the pandemic changed all of our lives. I thought it was an interesting look at life before the pandemic.

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It is no secret – I like golf. The weather has been nice in January and I have gotten out already in 2020. Golf doesn’t always like me. I enjoy playing golf and the friends I play with as well. Some say – golf is a good walk in the outdoors – spoiled. Not me – I love the nature in golf – but I also like the game itself. Two friends and I walked 18 holes a week or so ago. We were dragging coming up 18 (an uphill walk) – but we had fun. Continue reading

July 7, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2020 Needs A Refocus

Proverbs 15:13

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

20B2484D-93F3-4834-A657-15E51ED76F9ASo – how has your 2020 gone so far? It is early in July – the second half of the year has begun. What have you lost or missed the most? Did you lose your senior year in school? Did you lose a job or your retirement in the market? Are you worried about our country as we deal with a cancel culture – racism – and the upcoming elections?

What – if anything – have you decided to change in your life recently? Has the pandemic given you a new look at life? What have we planned to do differently this fall and into 2021? Setting goals is important – because we all know – if you aim at nothing – you’re bound to hit it! What goals have you – have we – set? My daughter posted this some time back: Don’t downgrade your dreams just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny. Continue reading

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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